SM32 - 16mm scale - 32mm gauge

This was an interesting project inspired by two prototypes. The first was a drawing of a Drewery railcar built for a 2'-6" gauge railway in the tropics. It had an interesting layout, but the double skin roof and small shuttered windows were not very attractive. The second was a B&W photo of another Drewery railcar that ran on two different Irish railways (originally on 5'-3" then re-gauged to 3'). I took the interior and general layout of the former and applied the outside of the latter.

The bodywork was virtually all stripwood and the window framing took quite a lot of work especially as all of the glazing slides into place in slots. The curved ends were also a challenge and were formed from layers of thin ply laminated around a tube.

The chassis was a Lima 'O' gauge class 33 diesel extended in the middle. A drop-down section under the middle contained the switching and sockets for charging the bank of rechargable batteries that laid under the seating. The roof supports are a throw back to model aircraft wings. Just visible in the framework is a reed switch for the speed controller. This unit came with a simple on-off switch and when activated, the loco speed slowly built up then down when switched off. The switch was replaced by the reed switch located under the luggage rack. A large suitcase with a magnet embedded could be dropped on the rack to strart it moving.

This was a lovely model to design and make. Working the wood in unusual ways yet still producing a solid, attractive vehicle was very satisfying.

Well, everything was going well, then I discovered that the photo I was using (not this one) had disguised the shape of the front doorway and the model looked nothing like the original and the wheel arrangement was also different - "C'est la guerre". I still like my version!

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